Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Jul 17th 2008 2:00PM by Jason Cohen
So it might be in 2009 for Sub Pop Records -- if it's up to label patriarch Bruce Pavitt. Asked to name one absent band he would have liked to see at this past weekend's SP20 two-day anniversary show, Pavitt replied, "Reverend Horton Heat, who I think is a national treasure -- a musical genius and an amazing performer. I would love to see him at next year's festival."
Yeah? You think that's gonna happen?
"I'm gonna make it happen. Jon [Jonathan Poneman, the label's other founder] doesn't know that yet."
("Yeah," Poneman responded the next day. "He can put it on all by himself.")
The 25-band charity concert at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Wash. turned out to be as satisfying for the newer artists -- Iron and Wine were clearly the top draw, and Fleet Foxes the most ascendant -- as its eagerly anticipated Class of '88 reunions: Les Thugs, the Fluid and, of course, Green River, the grunge band that began it all so long ago its first EP came out on Homestead Records. Its members then fractured into Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone ... and Mother Love Bone begat Mookie Blaylock, which soon changed their name to Pearl Jam. Frontman Mark Arm winked at Green River's supergroup pedigree by going even further back in time to introduce the band.
"Bruce Fairweather and Jeff Ament, from the Montana hardcore band Deranged Diction!
"Steve Turner and Stone Gossard, from the proto-grunge band the Ducky Boys!
"From Spluii Numa, Alex Shumway!
"Oh, and I'm the evil genius behind Mr. Epp."
Green River were the draw, but Arm and Turner's other band -- their current band -- was no less thrilling. It's easy to take Mudhoney for granted: They've never really gone away, but they've also never gone to seed. Turner, in particular, remains an earsplitting and dirty-sweet guitarist, and Arm's voice can go up against any other screamer from that era. Their set was a revelation for Pavitt as much as anyone, since he's been away from music (and the label) for some time.
"Even though Mudhoney was my favorite band, I hadn't seen them for seven years," he says. "That's how removed I was. I moved to a remote island, decompressed, raised some kids and got away from guitars. Now I am gratefully coming back, and really enjoying the music with fresh ears. I thought Mudhoney's set was unbelievable -- as good as anything I'd seen back then. It's really wonderful see everybody experience that energy, and hear the lineage from 20 years ago."
A lineage, of course, that ultimately gave the world Nirvana. "Mudhoney was a huge huge influence on Nirvana," Pavitt says. "In '88 '89, when things were really clicking, those two bands were always together -- Nirvana opening for Mudhoney."
"So when they play 'Touch Me I'm Sick,' you can feel the ghosts a little bit."